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First Christian Church plans revival-like gathering to bring community together

What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?

That’s not just the title of the old Elvis Costello song.

It’s also a rallying cry (of sorts) for a group of people from First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.

Said group is hoping to get a revival (of sorts) going in the months ahead in Morgantown.

However, you can put the tent away, Bob Roberts said.

He pastors at the red-bricked church on Cobun Avenue, in South Park.

This isn’t the kind of “revival” you’re thinking of, he said Tuesday night.

Roberts and a group of around 15 people — some who attend church there, and some who don’t — sat down Tuesday night to get going on a gathering they say will be more about precipitating change than voicing prayers.

You don’t even have to be “religious,” said Roberts — who wasn’t, for years.

By his early teens, the Morgantown native, who went on to minister at churches in North Carolina before returning home, was an avowed atheist.

By his late teens, he confesses, he was also an alcoholic, spiraling into substance abuse on top of the drinking.

How did he knock his addictions?

He was lucky enough, he said, to find himself in the presence of people who practiced their religious faith — without making a big deal about it.

Their prayers, he said, were in the form of their actions.

Which, he said, is also what the planned event in Morgantown is all about.

The idea is to have a gathering where people can come out and not feel judged because of their belief system, or their sexual orientation, or anything else.

And while the proceedings will be non-dogmatic, he said, the point is to show how one’s beliefs can also motivate good works in a community.

That’s whether the motivation is attached to a church, an outreach organization or simply one’s beating heart.

Oh, yeah: There are also an awful lot of logistics involved.

Do you stage it in the spring or the summer?

What about when WVU is in session?

How many bands would be willing to play for free?

What about food and food-handling permits?

And where (oh, where) in Morgantown would an event hoping to bring 1,200 or so people in be held?

“Well, that’s why it’s a planning meeting,” said the pastor with a grin, while others scribbled furiously on legal pads.

If you or your organization would like to be part of it, Roberts wants to hear from you.

The best way to contact him right now, he said, is email:

First Christian also has a Facebook page.

Just like the song, peace, love and understanding will be the rock upon which the thing is built, the pastor proclaimed.

“It’s not what you ‘believe,’ ” he said.

“It’s what you do.”

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